With yet another disappointing season, the Alabama Crimson Tide fired head coach Anthony Grant. Intent on making a splash, the Crimson Tide hired former NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson (won award with the Dallas Mavericks).
Johnson comes into an Alabama basketball program that has struggled over the past few seasons, despite having very good players. Pictures of the near empty arena in home games were embarrassing for both the school and the SEC, which has made a push for increasing the quality of basketball in the conference. Johnson brings hype into the program and, more importantly, will be able to set Alabama on the path to success.
It will start with recruiting, but that should be easy for Johnson. Due to his NBA experience, young players who want to succeed in the NBA will actively seek out playing for the Crimson Tide. Alabama, who has had dreadful success at signing the coveted “one-and-dones,” will finally be able to compete with the top programs in the nation in recruiting.
Johnson will succeed with the Crimson Tide, but this program needs far more than just a good coach to get back on its feet. Long-term goals are never fun for the fans, but that might be just what Alabama basketball needs to focus on moving forward.
Look for a disappointing 2015-16 campaign due to the plethora of SEC teams taking a step forward this offseason, but things to start looking up as soon as the 2016-17 campaign. Alabama’s athletic program is built to allow more than just college football to thrive; Johnson is coming into the right program at the right time.